by Janday Wilson
On a winter night made for cuddling and watching movies, my boyfriend and I were doing exactly that when he did the sexiest thing ever. He took apart the bun that I was still wearing at 1 a.m. to look cute for him, removing each pin that was sticking into my scalp. Then, he began to massage my scalp, slowly and thoroughly. I was beyond surprised because he is not the massaging type. All I could do was lay back, Super Saiyan hair and all (blame my brothers for the Dragonball Z reference), and indulge in the feeling of utter relaxation that took over my body. Even better, he made only one joke about all the oil that my hair transferred to his hands.
The massage meant a lot to me beyond the fact that scalp massages are heavenly and good for stimulating hair growth. (If he knows this hair fact, I might marry him tomorrow!) Sadly, I feel like natural hair can be intimidating for some folks; aside from the non-blacks that shove their hands in my hair, no questions asked.
The work that the average black woman, natural or not, puts into her hair usually means that she might backhand you if you mess with her hair. And let’s be real, the nappier the hair is, the harder it is to get your fingers through. But the boo’s willingness to brave the mostly unknown terrain of my hair and scalp (and my possible rage) was yet another sign that he loves my hair as it is.
A man loving his girlfriend’s natural hair shouldn’t be so remarkable, but the debut of my natural hair 5 years ago was an unfortunate period in my life in which I was insecure and assumed it would make it harder for me to meet guys. And, of course, I somehow found myself in a relationship with a fool who had the nerve to ask me why I didn’t do my hair. Pretty odd considering that he met me with my hair in a big ol’ ‘fro. The fool also made the brilliant suggestion that I wear my hair in cornrows or just tied back in a ponytail because that is how he liked to see his girl’s hair.
Needless to say, he is out of my life.
The boo loves me for my full self, hair included, despite the fact that he has to put up with a lot when it comes to my hair. Our relationship is a long distance one so every second that we are together counts. Too bad my hair has stolen hours and hours out of our time together.
One time that he made the grueling 5 hour trek to visit me I spent that same amount of time on my hair because I wanted it to look extra cute for him. The poor guy fell asleep on the couch, watching me twist my hair. And there have been one too many nights when he has gone off to bed while I was still sitting on the couch working on my hair.
My hair treatments add even more time to the arduous process. At least he got a good laugh and was able to share pictures with our friends when my hands got stuck to my head attempting a brown sugar scalp scrub. In fact, he has entirely too many ugly pictures in his phone of me doing my Sunday hair ritual, face scrunched up as I try to pull a comb through my hair. He loves sending them to me randomly to catch me off guard.
But I must commend him for continuing to replenish his extra virgin olive oil without a word of complaint after I drain his supply. And I appreciate that he does not freak out when I shed hair all over his living room. He also doesn’t comment on my appearance the nights and mornings I’m too lazy to fix my hair and I look like a stand-in for Buckwheat. He also does not ask me that annoying question, “How long do you think your hair is now?” which, to me, reinforces the beauty standard that a woman must have long hair to be beautiful.
The rare times he judges my hair are when it is fake or straight. I get so annoyed when he asks me “Why did you do that to your hair?” when I come to see him after spending practically an entire day in the braid shop. And I get even more annoyed by his assertion that I should just go back and get my braids taken out when I complain about the near mind-numbing headaches they initially give me.
I try my best to block my ill-fated trip to the Dominicans out of my memory. I was disappointed because I lost a good amount of hair and the blowout only lasted a hot second. And the end result only merited an, “Oh.” from the boo, followed up with, “Just keep your hair the way it was before!”
He adores my signature up-do, a hairstyle that guarantees me compliments wherever I wear it. He would disagree, but I swear that seeing me with that style might have been what brought him to his senses after we had a pre-relationship falling out. I love seeing the pride in his eyes when people compliment me and comment on my hair when we are out together, and I think it is so cute that he is always convinced another girl is enviously eyeing my coif.
Is it wrong that my boyfriend’s love of my hair makes me love him that much more?